A brutal assault on Jacksonville man has rattled the local LGBTQ community, causing some to advocate carrying guns

Business Insider | 5/15/2010 | Tracey Eaton
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Demetrick Jones, of Jacksonville, Florida, was beaten, bound, and dragged naked for more than two blocks last month.

Police have not ruled the attack a hate crime, but friends of Jones say that while he didn't identify as transgender, he often dressed in women's clothes.

Jacksonville - America - Transgender - Murder - Capital

Jacksonville was dubbed "America's transgender murder capital" in 2018.

Jones is currently still in critical condition.

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JACKSONVILLE, Florida – Demetrick Jones was a carefree soul. Friends called him "Lil' mama."

Person - Connie - Blue - Friend - People

"He was a happy, happy person," said Connie Blue, a longtime friend. "He just loved being around people."

But on Sept. 27, tragedy struck. Jones, 38, was beaten and his feet were bound. Then he was tied to the back of a stolen Dodge Caravan and dragged, naked, for more than two blocks along West 36th Street in Jacksonville, sheriff's deputies say.

Surveillance - Camera - Part - Ordeal - Deputies

A surveillance camera recorded part of the ordeal, but deputies said the footage was so horrific they couldn't release it.

Jones was taken to UF Health Jacksonville Hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Friend - Fight - Blue - Fact

"I know my friend didn't go down without a fight," Blue said. "I know that for a fact."

On Sept. 29, detectives charged Eric Shaun Bridges, 34, with attempted murder. Bridges, who is being held on $500,003 bail, has a rap sheet that includes fleeing an officer, reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident, resisting an officer with violence, battery, possession of burglary tools and possession of cocaine.

May - Judge - Years - Auto - Theft

On May 15, 2010, a judge gave him 9 ½ years for auto theft and other crimes. He left prison after seven years and three months, records show.

He "denied having any involvement in the incident," an arrest report said.

Members - LBGTQ - Community - Jones

Members of the LBGTQ community are alarmed. They consider Jones one of their own.

Another attack in 'America's transgender murder capital'

Blue - Jones - Transgender

Blue said Jones did not consider himself a transgender...
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